Xbox 360 : Tenchu Z Reviews

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Gas Gauge 52
Below are user reviews of Tenchu Z and on the right are links to professionally written reviews. The summary of review scores shows the distribution of scores given by the professional reviewers for Tenchu Z. Column height indicates the number of reviews with a score within the range shown at the bottom of the column. Higher scores (columns further towards the right) are better.

Summary of Review Scores

Game Spot 49
GamesRadar 60
CVG 65
IGN 52
GameSpy 50
GameZone 55
Game Revolution 25
1UP 65

User Reviews (1 - 11 of 30)

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wow.....* bows

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 9 / 9
Date: June 14, 2007
Author: Amazon User

Im a fan of the whole Tenchu series, Ive been there since the 1st release day of the original on PSX. I originally picked it up not really knowing what to expect, especially since it didnt have much attention from the critics. It became an instant favorite. Its never been huge with critics despite is innovative and groundbreaking gameplay- it was the first stealth based game, But I guess thats how ninjas roll, incredible and unnoticed... the way they strive to be.
Ive played all the Tenchus many many many times through. I can honestly say without a single doubt this is the best. The Tenchu group has removed alot of the old pestering issues and this time around its very slick.

For those of you who have never played tenchu its a stealth based game, and not a tom clancy limited controll sneaking around in a linear dark corridor stealth game - you play the role of a ninja. Tenchu Z by far has blown the world of steath based gaming (as it usually does), scent, sight, and sound are the elements involved. you stand on a roof and if Your shadow is cast where the enemy can see he will notice if you move. You get too bloody the enemy can smell you.. the dogs can always smell you. As your moving around you have a sound gauge as to exactly how loud you are, which is sensitive to the surroudings. In other words u step in water splish splash, you walk on leaves crInch crunch, you walk on loose boards creak creak, you run fast you hear pitter patter and so on. all of these things are balanced well with swift control of character, usefull items, and special abilities.

As with the prior games every stage is replayable. Staying unseen will always yeild the best results and points. Points are now transfered into money. Tenchu Z has added a character customization which to say the least is......impressive. Hundreds of items, accessories, hairstyles and clothing that has been sectioned to each body part.

One thing im RELISHING in is theyve gone and remade some of the original levels. newer snazzy and fun!

As far as the traditional scoring goes id say it does pretty well.

Graphics- yes its on the 360 ... doesnt look fall out of your chair drooling like mad eyes bleeding great, but its waaaaay better than PS2 graphics.

Sound- this one is a no brainer its a comprehensive stealth game, sound effects are like another set of eyes- tenchu has never lacked in this area. music during movies n scenes are well done crisp and fitting. durign gameplay music is simplified and quiet so u can concentrate on you surroudings. When a fight breaks out its fast paced and again.. fitting. As it should be.

Gameplay-Tenchu Z has patched up some older serious fighting problems with new moves and slicker controls.. that is, if your so bad at being sneaky you get stuck in a fight. Otherwise, controls are smooth and easy to get down. Multiple styles of stealth kills and creative options in doing so. Camera is fully controllable even in weird corners n such...Again this is another vital thing in a stealth game - sight.

Replay Value- Well now... all 50 some levels are replayable with different difficulties, random hidden items, custom character ceation and advancement,unlockable skills, items, abilities, and clothing. System link with a few friends and lets not forget it all can go online as well... it will keep you busy for quite some time.

So if I could sum it up in one word.. itd be as I said in my title wow....*bows*

Fun to be a Ninja!

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 9 / 9
Date: June 18, 2007
Author: Amazon User

Ok I'll cut right to the chase and address some of the gripes people seem to be having about this game, then give my review.

1)The missions are too repetetive??: Ok people, you're a NINJA and you KILL people or gather intelligence. BUT, no matter what the primary objective is... you are going to have to kill lots of people! What is wrong with that? What kind of missions do YOU people think should be in here? Maybe a gathering firewood mission or steal money to give to the poor?

2)The AI sucks?? Ok, the AI might not be the greatest (like MOST games) but you have to put the time factor into perspective. In REAL life, if a guard sees you and you run, you'd stay gone for an hour or a day or week, THEN come back to complete the mission. Obviously the developers were smart in realizing people want things not quite that realistic so they sped things up a bit to where the guards forget about you after a minute or so. I see no problem with that, under the circumstances.

So, my review is very positive. I've only done the first mission so far, BUT I've done it like four times and done things differently EVERY time. That is the magic of this game. There are so many options open to you. You can hide in bushes, water, on top of buildings, UNDER buildings, and you can constantly buy new equipment and items to help you out on missions. It's a very welcome step to the game and makes you feel like your "building" your ninja more.

True, the combat aspect of the game is a little stale by modern standards, but of course this is a stealth game, so its not all that surprising that they don't focus so much on that. If I had one real wish for improvement, though, I guess that would be it.

Make NO mistake: This game is FUN and you feel like a ninja, like you're really in the thick of enemy territory. I found myself holding my breathe more than a few times. The improved stealth-kill system is awesome, even including multiple kills.

If you are a true fan of the series, pick up the game, no question. You won't be sorry.

Not up to the Tenchu Standard

3 Rating: 3, Useful: 8 / 8
Date: July 21, 2007
Author: Amazon User

I have played all the Tenchu games.
The two shining moments of the franchise are when it was originally released (Tenchu Stealth Assassins) and when it first appeared on the PS2 (Tench Wrath of Heaven).

- The graphics and motion capture are improved.
- There is a greater degree of customizability.
- For a Tenchu fan, the fact that Tenchu lives on the next-gen platform is a plus.


- Some reviewers have said that the game is repetitive. Others have countered by saying that a game like God of War or Metal Gear Solid is repetitive. The reason Tenchu Z feels so much more repetitive is because there is excessive reuse of locales, whereas in God of War for example, the locales are different with each new level. There is no reason for this, other than lack of time or, more likely budget- because if you look at every other Tenchu game, there has never been a repeated locale in a story thread. In this game you play through the same village, castle, whatever several times. After the 2nd time you've just about had enough.

- One of the things that made the original Tenchu game so interesting and challenging was that the enemies' ninjas would also hang out on the roofs. In this game, staying on the roof and crouching generally means that no one can reach you. None of the characters seem to climb them, even low roofs.

- There is no notion of a boss after each level. This is sad because the boss was yet another element that made the other Tenchus interesting.

As a fan I am glad that Tenchu lives on in the next-gen platform. But I feel somewhat cheated by Tenchu Z's lack of content as compared to previous Tenchus.

In the life of a ninja

2 Rating: 2, Useful: 7 / 7
Date: August 20, 2007
Author: Amazon User

Tenchu Z - Circa 2007

- Game has 50 missions and three different difficulty settings.
- Create/customize your very own ninja with lots of costume options and props like a crow on your shoulder or an extra sword on your back, as well as change your hair style, gloves, boots, pants and top.
- The customizing doesn't just stop at looks; this game has lots of unique and different moves as well as combos. Some new abilities help you do things like run along walls and cling to ceilings.
- Game has large open-ended stages with a sandbox attitude (finish missions the way you see fit).
- Online Co-op mode (from two to four players), while this mode is a little glitchly it is a nice feature.

- Most missions are pretty mundane and by the numbers (not just the first few).
- A few missions are for lack of a better term repeats of earlier stages.
- This story is very bare bones and seems too heavily focused on feudal Japan politics.
- The graphics are old for a game that came out 2007; this game looks at best like a game from the early Playstation 2 days.
- The enemy A.I. is not very good and loses interest in following targets after they lose direct sight of their target. Example, if you get spotted by a guard jump over a small wall and the guard will not only not be able to follow you or know where you "disappeared" to, but after a few minutes that same guard will lose interest and go back to his rounds.
- Higher difficulty settings dose not mean smarter guards or more guards, but just that all enemies have better vision and can spot you much easier.

- This game only has three boss battles two of which are on the last mission.
- Westerners (who in this game are Spaniards or pirates) are portrayed odd to say the least (they come off very un-masculine when compared to all other characters even the woman).
- After beating a mission you get ranked on your skill as a ninja (really the game only counts how many times you got spotted and for how long versus how many stealth and normal kills you performed) you get gold according to this and you get a ranking number from one to five (five being the best).
- The game has you earning money or gold on missions to buy/unlock new costumes options, abilities, and items. New costumes options become available every few missions.
- The Ninja Village (just a very small hub world) where you can select missions and change/buy costumes options, abilities, and items has the time of day set to the clock on your Xbox 360, play at night and the Ninja Village is at night, play during the day time and the Ninja Village is set during the day time. Unfortunately this is not carried on to the stages them selves with 95% of the stages taking place at night.

- Tenchu: Return from Darkness (Xbox, PS2)
- Tenchu (PS1)

- A demo of this game is available on Xbox Live Marketplace.
- Using the right or left bumpers (the 360 equivalent to playstations R1 and L1) makes the difficulty easier or harder per stage.
- A few missions in this game have you kill members of the Echigoya family; this is note worthy because every Tenchu game has its first mission killing a member of this family (usually a corrupted merchant).
- Every mission (50 in all) has at least one guard known as a Tomikichi (they are wearing the over sized round/circle type of hats) killing one on every stage gives you secret achievements.
- Beating the game unlocks a few new costumes options like Modern Day military uniforms with a stock gun (M-16 type) that you can hold on your back (its only a prop you can't use it) and Over sized animals heads (like the ones you see at theme parks).

THey figured out how to beat the dead horse after it fully decomposed!

1 Rating: 1, Useful: 6 / 7
Date: June 20, 2007
Author: Amazon User

I was a HUGE fan of the first couple Tenchu games on Playstation. Then they just kept on tossing out cheap ports packaged as "new games". No innovation, no updating the experience, just the same old stuff with slightly new level maps. Now, with the Xbox 360, they have released YAT ANOTHER cheap port of the same old game. The graphics are awful for a 360 game, the controls are clunky and slow, the level maps are ridiculously lame looking and un-detailed, the bad guys are just as stupid and dense as they were on the Playstation 1. I wish people would stop buying these games so that the developer would be forced to take a hard look at the franchise and either stop making it or properly update it and make a good game. The first couple were so fun and tense, real white knuckle gaming. Then it just got boring. Not taking advantage of the potential on the 360 is just stupid and I feel sorry for people who basically threw away $60 on a game that is not worth $10.

Don't Waste Your Money

1 Rating: 1, Useful: 2 / 2
Date: June 19, 2007
Author: Amazon User

Okay, I am one of those people who will not give a very good review on this game. I realize that in the game the character is a ninja, that's a given, but the game is horribly repetitive. Sure, you kill people, but the same type of people over and over again? Here is a breakdown of the missions you will be given; Assassinate someone, find the secret documents, kill all the enemies or find the 10 bombs. That's about it. It's the absolute same all the way through it.
Sure, you do kill people but if you notice that the level of the enemies really doesn't increase that much. You will go through many different towns several times through out the game. I would not recommend this game to anyone and I am sorry that I ever bought the game because there is no challenge to it at all. I have played the Splinter Cell games over and over and one thing about it is that the first three games you never go through the same place twice and the missions change throughout the game in that you have to do different missions to complete each level, not this one, it's the same thing over and over and over again. So, don't waste your money, unless you are a major fan of the game and then I would only spend about five bucks on it because more than that is a complete waste.

This series is going backwards in quality!

2 Rating: 2, Useful: 2 / 2
Date: July 12, 2007
Author: Amazon User

First off, let me say that I've been a huge fan of this series since its inception. With that said, however, this might just be the game that convinced me to never buy another Tenchu game ever again.
For beginners, not one piece of this game displays anything that couldn't be accomplished on the original Xbox. 50 missions? Yeah right. Try 12 maps rehashed over, and over, and over, and over again. Daytime and nighttime versions of the same level aren't very different aside from expanding your enemies' field of vision. The graphics are respectable, but nowhere near the 360's capabilities. Enemy AI is better than past Tenchus, but they still suffer from absolutely no short term memory. The voice tracks may or may not be rehashed throughout the game. Truth is I have no idea, since I DON'T SPEAK JAPANESE! What in the world made the developers decide that we didn't need this game in english. Heck, I'd even settle for engrish as long as I could understand them.
Also, what the hell happened to having some kind of storyline? C'mon, who seriously thinks that a 5 second animated sequence counts as a quality storyline? Granted, at least the storyline follows a straight line. This is the first time that's happened in a Tenchu game since Tenchu 2 (that's right, last century!). Still, the game has 2 playable characters (neither of which are Ayame or Rikimaru, more on that later), so you have two parallel stories, right? Wrong. In fact, you can't even play through the second character's path without using a second profile. The game only allows one save file per profile.
Back to the playable characters. Ask anybody what their biggest problem was with MGS2, and guaranteed that response will be one word: Raiden. Making a Tenchu game where you can't play as Ayame or Rikimaru is about as bad as a Super Mario game that only allows you to play as Kupas.
And lastly, would it kill the developers to include a mapmaker function in this game? Online play's great and all, but I guarantee 110% that anybody who buys this game and plays it online would much rather be able to download countless user-created missions than to play one of the countless (read:12) missions included in the game. I might be a bit impressed with with the online missions, if they weren't the EXACT SAME MISSIONS FROM THE SINGLE PLAYER GAME!
Face it, if ever there was a niche game, this is it. People aren't going to line up tho play this game, aside from the rabid Tenchu fans who are in love with the series. Look at any fansite dedicated to the series, and everybody begs for a mapmaker every time a new Tenchu game comes out.
Sadly, the Tenchu series seems to be relegated to the same fate as the Chicago Cubs. We'll never see any solid improvements as long as we blindly give our money out. Maybe if we would boycott this game, the developers just might listen to the fans of the series next time. Not that I honestly expect that, though.
Does the Ninja Gaiden fan club have an opening?

Good for renting

3 Rating: 3, Useful: 2 / 2
Date: June 28, 2007
Author: Amazon User

Let me get this out of the way: I was a big fan of the original Tenchu. In its day, it was one of the first games to emphasize stealth and strategy over button mashing combos.

But now we have games like Splinter Cell that feature better graphics, AI, and still have that fun stealthy feel.

But since this game still has the same "feel" as the original, it's hard for me to hate it. The stealth kills are still satisfying. You still have to plan your attacks and time things just right to avoid detection.

The game has 50 missions, which sounds like a lot, but when you consider there are only ten or so maps (at most?) it ends up feeling very repetitive. In fact, since most of the missions involve 1) retriving an item or 2) killing one target; the gameplay cannot help but feel stale quickly. For example, one map is a castle. Every time you play that map during the course of the game, the target or item is in the castle. So you end up taking the same route to the castle - leaping on the same rooftops and zipping over or eliminating the same guards - before reaching the target.

The story is convoluted and in Japanese. Fortunately you can skip the cutscenes; but it feels unsatisfying to beat the mission without knowing what or whom you've beaten.

A word about the multiplayer: don't bother. The x-box live mode feels tacked on. In theory, it'd be fun to play a mission with your buddies; but the lag is so terrible and glitchy, it'll have you swearing off the stuff (blissfully none of the achievements are multiplayer).

The best thing about this game is that you can rent it over a weekend, enjoy the sneaky ninja assasination fun, and only be out a few bucks. Once you've done that, there's absolutely no reason to pick up this game again.

Tenchu is not for everyone!

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 1 / 1
Date: June 26, 2007
Author: Amazon User

For Tenchu veterans, this game is a must-have. It stays true to the franchise in almost all aspects of gameplay! There are some slight improvements, such as a character customization screen where you can change everything from clothes to abilities... Also you can kill people through the paper doors! Other than that, it's still good ol' Tenchu.

Newbies to the series, please understand that this is a STEALTH game. You are not meant to play like an action hero and try to cut everyone down in mortal combat. The key is to assassinate as many characters on the map to maximize how much money you get in the end. As you go, you will unlock new items and abilities to purchase to improve your character. If you want an action-style Ninja game, go for Ninja Gaiden! They are on complete opposite sides of the spectrum! If you love stealth, such as Hitman and Splinter Cell though, definitely give this game a try.

Not bad, but not the greates either.

3 Rating: 3, Useful: 1 / 1
Date: July 06, 2007
Author: Amazon User

Well, I'll start by saying I was a fan of the original tenchu, but lost track of it after that one. If I recall correctly, I came back and played the 3rd one, but it was garbage to me. This new tenchu takes me back to the first time I played the game, so it is a good time to play, and the replay value is super high.

Game gets 3 stars from me because of the look. There's no excuses for the quality in graphics, I mean they're not bad but the xbox can do much more and the developers have to know this. Come on guys, take your time on the next one. There's so much that I envisioned while playing the game that I know could have been added in the eye candy department.

If you're a fan of the series, go ahead and give it try. Whats the deal with "From Software" anyway? They're also the makers of Armored Core and just like this game, its been the same game every installment. You developers need to get on the ball. 5 stars fun factor. 3 stars overall.

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